Cubans rounded up and resident arrested

| 06/06/2014

(CNS): Two Cuban migrants who escaped from the Immigration Detention Centre (IDC) on Wednesday morning were rounded by immigration officers on Thursday night following a police and immigration operation in the Northward area, and a permanent resident was arrested for housing the escaped refugees. The Cubans were the latest in a long line of escapees and a recent near riot against a backdrop of community concerns that the security firm at the detention centre is not able to fulfil its remit. However, the head of immigration said that until a new policy for the centre, which is in the works, is in place, she had no choice but to use a private firm as she does not have the staff to man the Fairbanks location.

“Unfortunately, we don't have a choice but to use a security company as the Immigration Department does not have sufficient personnel to manage the IDC on a daily basis. We have used another security company before but the results were not improved,” Linda Evans explained, adding that the security officers don’t have the authority to restrain anyone attempting to escape. “The escapes are primarily because the Cubans are upset over the length of time it takes for Cuba to allow for their repatriation.”

The other reason, she explained, was state of the fencing but new fencing for the perimeter has been sourced and is expected to arrive Mondayfor immediate installation ‎.

However, echoing comments from the chief officer this week, she said that changes were coming and a new policy would soon be in place as the centre will soon fall under the prison management.

Speaking in Finance Committee on Thursday, Premier Alden McLaughlin told the Legislative Assembly that prison staff will be used going forward and indicated that the prison director’s wife, who is also a correctional officer, has been given the job of heading up the IDC.

Since the start of this year over 140 Cuban migrants have arrived in Cayman, and although 98 have been repatriated, there are more than forty men still at the detention centre in the Fairbanks area of George Town.

Meetings that had been arranged with Cuban officials about speeding up the repatriation process and other issues, the premier said, as the repatriation time was fuelling frustrations among the detainees and causing the recent near-riots and the escapes. However, these have been delayed until September.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    What some of you should do is your homework on the Cayman and Cuban MOU before you make these type of comments. People don't realize that there is something in place for this and it's the Cuban Government that isn't holding their end of the agreement. The Cayman Islands are a British overseas territory, and we a part of the UN.  Meaning, we can't be inhumane and turn our heads to these refugees seeking freedom. Even though it would be less cost on our government and our country and we could use these monies for our own, it wouldn't be the right thing to do.  

    The Cuban government takes CI govt for a joke and treats them like a puppet. Cuba is a communist country and the government is very stubborn and spiteful. So it's not like we can just go and drop these Cubans off . They need permission before hand. 


    I do agree that these funds should be spent on our own but for this to happen a change in the MOU needs to be done immediately and maybe cayman shouldn't keep their end of the agreement seeing as Cuba doesn't and it's no problem whatsoever. 

    • MEM says:

      Well sounds like this MOU has to be revised because one party is not understanding what should be understood within this MOU!

  2. MEM says:

    It would be so much cheaper to give them 2 gallons of gasoline, 5 gallons of drinking water, a few loaves of bread with couple tins of corn beef and some JB Weld for any boat leaks and send them on their way!! This is madness

  3. pmilburn says:

    Why is this process taking so long?Here again like the problems with Northward send them back home or maybe change the attitude re giving them a helping hand and sending them on their way if that is indeed their request.We are fast becoming a welfare state and we have enough local people on that as it is now.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps the arresting of person or persons who assist excaped prisoners is a policy change within the government and the next time a Caymanian escapes Northward, those found assisting them will also be arrested.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I am so mad over the cost of all these people coming to this Little Rock. Not only the Cubans but others that we have to put up with their storys. Accomodation, Food, and then security. They are demanding so much , more than what they never had before. Just imagine if we had to give them Political Assylum what a Country we would soon have. What is so terrible is the fact that we have to use all sort of people to translate and in that process we loose the proper communication and assesment.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Licensing Security Guards was a good first step, but the next step should be that they are allowed to use lawful force to protect those who have hired them, and their property from harm and danger.  So if they are hired to prevent prisoners from escaping, they should be able to use force to prevent it if the prisons fail to heed their warning to stop.  And they should be exempted from damages for using force to prevent an escape.  Afterall, they are putting themselves in jeopardy for doing their job. 

    • Anonymous says:

      no, treating them like criminals is not the answer, CI govt is paying for it because we insist in the enforcement of Cuban laws here in cayman. if they land put them back in the next plane and sent the Bill to Cuban govt, you will see how fast the pick them up the next time, once again, you are believeing that the Cuban gov is going to keep their side of the deal….. keep dreaming, you should know better by now.

    • Anonymous says:

      Since the RCIPS & Prison officers aren't exempt from liability if they damage people, even escapees, I really reject your police-state mentality that armed private security should be exempted. What next, Blackwater to police Pirates Week?

  7. JoJo Jr says:

    I look forward to reading about the Cuban's next escape on Monday. Then again on Tuesday.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Why has it taken so long to put in place a functional fence and security officers who can arrest?

    • Anonymous says:

      Whyare we detaining them, spending unnecessary money on them, and they are so ungrateful when we have saved their lives?  It costs less to give them fuel, food and water and let them continue their journey.  The money that is being spent on them here in detention, could be spent on our very own.  Charity begins at home.  

  9. Anonymous says:

    Dammit, my Cuban pool boy plan foiled again 🙁

  10. Anonymous says:

    Tell us again the story about how much better the private firms, like the security one in this story, are at doing everything than the Civil Service. All the private companies want are the easy money-making jobs. ('Securing' the GAB parking lotfor example.) Real work withthe chance of trouble? Hand it over to the Civil Service (Prison staff in this case.) If they still had Public Works the fence would have been up by now too, instead it no doubt had to be bid out and we see the result. Private sector in action.